Sep 292011
Authors: Blair Carpenter

Fall is in the air, and that means three things: sweaters, midterms and coffee. With the plethora of coffee shops in Fort Collins, what’s a poor, pressed-for-time student to do? Look no further than the local shops surrounding the CSU campus.

Wild Boar Coffee, 1510 S. College Ave. (a few blocks south of CSU’s flower trial garden)
Located in a repurposed house on the historic register, Wild Boar boasts New Belgium and Odell’s beers on tap that aren’t available anywhere else.

“We have very eclectic workers,” said Dave Jensen, a Wild Boar employee. “We also have a full food menu, all made from scratch. It’s a very unique atmosphere.”

The Wild Boar also boasts live music every third Tuesday, brown sugar cinnamon cubano shots and an upcoming haunted art exhibit on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Cocoa Olé, 646 S. College Ave. (near the corner of College Avenue and Laurel Street)
A little closer to Old Town, Cocoa Olé is a Mexican/Aztec themed shop with lime green walls and distinct menu choices. And while the café itself is small, there is a lot of seating packed within the space.

“I liked that they were willing to do what I wanted even though it wasn’t something that was on the regular menu,” said sophomore biology major Lindsey Rogien. “They were very flexible.”

Because Cocoa Olé is only open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., it’s advisable to get there early. So head in on Wednesdays to try their signature spiced Aztec hot chocolate and get double punches on your customer loyalty card.

Mugs, 306 W. Laurel St. (located across from the Oval)
This is the third shop in the coffee trifecta, with a focus on community and a modern, industrial style interior. Mugs makes weekly donations to organizations around Fort Collins, and tries to keep front counter products as local as possible, even selling homemade energy bars.

“We take a lot of inspiration from the community,” said Mugs employee Kai Churman. “We don’t do managers here; the owners do barista shifts with us.”

And despite not having time to wait in line, Mugs also offers a helpful feature, which allows customers to text their order and time of pickup to (970) 818-6008.

So whether your style is exotic, modern or homey, your ideal coffee experience may not be just around the corner, but instead, just around the campus.

Collegian writer Blair Carpenter can be reached at

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